(Click on any photo to enlarge)
After our first canoe and camping adventure in June, which involved, broken wooden paddles, fish hooks, fingers and forgotten keys, I was excited when my friend John R. wanted to do some hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains. I recommended my favorite hike, Old Rag Mountain. It was a done deal and we headed out early on a beautiful, cool, fall, Monday morning.
That is until we reached the stretch somewhere near the 2nd or 3rd switchback. I stopped to catch my breath and turned around to check on John, when I heard a crashing in the underbrush. Not 50' back down the trail, a 150-200 lb Black Bear crossed the trail behind us. I yelled "Bear" and was very mad that I didn't catch him with my Nikon D40 as he crossed. John only caught a glimpse. Smokey wasn't in a big hurry so we had 2-3 minutes to watch him just off the trail.
To the rescue. Out comes the Nalgene bottle wrapped with Duck Tape. It doesn't take long to wrap two 3' foot pieces to hold the sole in place. I say to John as I wrap. "I'm just glad there was no blood involved on this one."
Our lunch view
The required summit sign post photo.
The fire road
Old Rag from below.
The start of the last 1/2 mile of paved road leading to the lower parking lot. 7 hours round trip. 9.4 miles. Three apples. 2 Clif Bars. 1 Nalgene of water. 1 Nalgene of Gatorade. 1 Cream Cheese and jelly sandwich on Wholewheat. 2400' feet of climbing and 2400' of gliding. All in a days play for a couple of almost old guys who cherished every moment and every cramp.